TWO community diabetes nurses from Ceredigion are gearing up for a challenging bike ride to raise funds and awareness, and inspire their patients.

Colleagues Anwen Jones and Helen Saunders, Community Diabetes Specialist Nurses for Hywel Dda University Health Board, will be cycling almost 100 miles from Borth to Cardigan on Saturday 8 June, for Diabetes UK Cymru.

The winding route through the beautiful Ceredigion countryside will pass through every surgery area that they cover. The colleagues are inviting patients, their friends and families to join them for some or all of the journey.

There is even a family-friendly section of the challenge, from Llanilar to Aberystwyth.

Anwen, 46, said, “We wanted to do something to raise awareness of the condition in the local area and support Diabetes UK Cymru. Many of the people Helen and I support are living with Type 2 diabetes and increasing their activity levels would really make a difference to their health. We hope that by taking on some or all of the route, people will feel inspired to be more active and empowered to do more to manage their condition.“

Neither of us are cyclists so we will find it just as much of a challenge. Helen and I are quite competitive and have said that whoever finishes first can have the day off on Monday!”Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK, with 7.4% of the population with the condition. In the Hywel Dda Health Board region this rises to 7.8%. 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2.Someone may develop Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. As many as three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by being more active, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight.

Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We hope that people across Ceredigion will be inspired to jump on their bikes and get involved with Anwen and Helen’s challenge. Whether you join for a few miles or the whole route, everyone is welcome.”Riders are invited to meet outside Borth Surgery ready to set off by 8.00am. The family challenge will start from Llanilar Surgery at 9.30am.It costs £30 to sign up for the main cycle ride and £15 for the family challenge, with all funds raised going to Diabetes UK Cymru.

Anwen and Helen are starting their fundraising with a dinner and auction at the Llanina Arms on Saturday 27th April. Auction items include a signed Scarlets rugby shirt, a Wales rugby shirt signed by the grand-slam winning Six Nations team and a signed rugby ball with many other items kindly donated by local businesses.

Tickets cost £25 each.For more information on the cycle ride, or to buy tickets for the dinner, contact Anwen on anwenmai.jones@wales.nhs.uk or 07964 109694 or Joseph Cuff on joseph.cuff@diabetes.org.uk or 02920 668276.

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